War Diaries of CC Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

1943

 

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January 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1-9   Training, recces and preparations for advance to TRIPOLI carried out during this period. A few fresh vehicles were received, and old ones evacuated. Bde was held in counter attack role.  
  1   L/Bdr. Baugh and Gnr Murrell returned to the Bty  
  3   L/Bdr. Ansell admitted to hospital  
  4   Brig. R. Mews C.R.A. 7 Armd. Div. visited the Bty. All the guns of the Bty were calibrated.  
  5   Practice firing was carried out during the day - Regtl targets in the morning and Battery gallery shooting in the afternoon.  
  6   Gnr Ingles returned to the Bty.  
  7   Practice by day with Staffs Regtl. Gp of night movement in 3 'snakes'.  
  8   Further practice of Regtl shooting.  
  10   Joined Staffs Regtl Gp  
  10   Gnrs Goodrick and Nippard admitted to hospital.  
  11   Lt. Barstow returned to the Bty.  
  12   Moved with Regtl. Gp across WADI TEMET to staging area.  
  13   Crossed WADI CHEBIR with Staffs Regtl Gp and after laying up during the day, moved on after dark to a further staging area.  
  13   L/Bdr Blundell and Layhe and Gnrs Benjamin, Bolton and Conkleton returned to the Bty.  
  14   Slight enemy air activity during the day, one quad being put out of action by a bomb splinter.  
  14   Moved forward at night about 10 miles to an assembly position, prior to an attack at first light on WADI ZEM ZEM position.  
  14   Gnr Pennifold admitted to hospital  
  14   Bdr. Swinhoe, Gnrs Nippard  and Goodrick returned to Bty.  
  15  

Attack started at first light and the Bty very quickly went into action. It moved forward a further 4000 yds during the morning, and stayed in that position until towards evening. A number of targets were successfully engaged by observed shooting particularly MET and guns. Our attack was temporarily held up by enemy tanks and guns.

Staffs Regtl Gp moved in late afternoon from the right to left flank of the Bde and the Bty joined the rest of the Regt in the Regtl gun area.

 
  15   Gnr Hunter killed by shelling. Gnr Barker  wounded by shell fire and died on 16th.  
  16   After first light recce, the Bde crossed the WADI ZEM ZEM without opposition and the Bty advances N.W. for 42 miles. The Bde then met further enemy rearguard opposition East of SEDADA and the Bty came into action a further 3 miles on. We were then out of range of fighter cover and were twice dive bombed. Lt. Stone being wounded. Several gun positions were successfully engaged by observed shooting. The Bty leaguered with the Regtl Gp. There were sounds of demolitions during the night.  
  17  

First light recce reveal that the enemy had withdrawn after laying mines and destroying the road across a deep wadi. This caused some delay, but the Bde eventually continued its advance West at good speed, halting just North of BENI VLID to take up correct desert formation again.

There was some bombing but no casualties to the Battery. The advance then continued over difficult country with deep Wadis. Only Staffs Yeo Regtl Gp. managed to cross the large Wadi before dark and leaguered Wesy of it, while the remainder of the Bde remained on the East.  We were not then in contact with enemy.

 
  18  

After moving forward 2 miles at first light, the Bde halted for 2 hours maintenance before continuing the advance. There was further enemy bombing, but not in the area of the Bty.

The Staffs continued to lead the Bde and found the going difficult with deep wadis and rocky ground. We pressed on however and leaguered 5 miles from BENI VLID - TARHUNA road without having made contact with the enemy who were reported to be retreating along this road.

 
  19   The advance was continued at first light and we succeed in cutting the road, setting on fire or putting out of action by shelling a number of enemy vehicles . We then crossed the road and ran info some heavy shelling from the hills round TARHUNA. The Bty quickly went into action and engaged a number of enemy gun positions b observed shooting. The guns were later moved to alternative positions to the East of the road where the shelling was less. Lt. Whitely, L/Sgt Lord and Gnrs Hooker and Bridges were wounded before 'H' Troop moved. The heavy shelling held up the tanks for the remainder of the day and the Battery continued to engage targets by observed shooting. Several guns were silenced and some more vehicles hit. The Battery Leagured with Notts. Yeo. Regtl. Gp.  
  20   Bty returned to its former position at first light and the tanks pushed forward towards TARHUNA without opposition, being greeting in the town by a white flag and a cheering population. As soon as the road was reported clear of mines, the Bty followed on this route and took up position West of TARHUNA to support Staffs who were already in position. Two enemy gun positions in the hills were successfully engaged.  
  21   The Bde having been held up at the narrow pass in the hills the Bty moved 7 miles West to take up position behind G. Bty (Mercer's Tp) in support of 1 Buffs. Enemy positions were engaged by observed shooting, although the ground was very mountainous and targets difficult to spot. A concentration in support of and Infantry attack by 131 Bde was fired after dark.  

 

 

5050

22

 

 

0800

 

 

Ordered to move forward with Staffs. The speed was very slow owing to enemy demolitions on the road, but no oppositions was encountered and we halted a few miles from CASTEL BENITO before midday.

 

 

4736

   

After 2 changes of plan, we advanced on CASTEL BENITO and coming into action on the orchards outside, engaged enemy A/Tk guns

 
    2300 Orders received to move with Staffs thro CASTE BENITO towards TRIPOLI  
 

23

 

 

0030

 

0630

Moved forward along the road, and except for one diversion had an uneventful and speedy journey to within 7 Ks of TRIPOLI, dispersing thence and waiting for the Provost etc to enter the town.

 
3563   1400 Bde moved South of TRIPOLI to take up positions facing West about ZANZUR  
3062 24   Recced and occupied area a little further West, but almost immediately received orders to move with 1 Buffs towards ZAVIA on order to hasten enemy withdrawal. Leaguered 19Ks from this village.  
  24   L/Sgt. Townsend, Gnrs Neame and Munro returned to the Bty.  
0055558 25   Advance was continued and Bty came into action on the Western edge of ZAVIA. The country being flat and very wooded proved difficult of O.P. work and little shooting was done. Lt. Belgrave accompanied an Inf night patrol and established an O.P. on a prominent feature about 4 miles further West.   
9856 26   Bty moved forward 2 miles to another position close behind the infantry. Although the general area was heavily shelled by the enemy periodically throughout the day, there were no casualties. Enemy infantry O.Ps, MET and guns were engaged. 1 Buffs were relieved during the night by 131 Bde, the Bty sending an F.O.O. to 40 R.T.R.  

 

8163

27

 

1100

 

Moved to position East of SABRATHA and late through the town to position 2 miles West. Little enemy opposition during the day.

 
  28 - 29   No change of position  
      Maintenance, with was very necessary therefore possible   
      The advance had been slowed down by the blowing of the road and railway in several places and the very marshy ground in this area.  
6269 30   Moved forward to a position on the Western edge of MELLITA to fire onto the perimeter defences of ZUARA most of the move had to be made up the railway as the road was still not repaired  
  30   L/Sgt. Chapman admitted to hospital.  
  30   Sgt. Short returned to the Bty.  
  31   A first light recce revealed that the enemy rear guard had withdraw, as usual blowing and mining the road. The Bty moved forward along the road into ZUARA, the recce party among the first troops to enter the town.   
4478     The Bty took up a position on the Eastern side of the town to cover 7 Queens who were covering the Western approaches.  
  31   Gnr. Nippard admitted to hospital  
  31   Gnr. Hayton returned to the Bty.  

 

February 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  1-5   Battery remained in ZUARA in support of 7 Queens. F.O.Os went forward with Armoured Car patrols as far as ZELTEN and EL ASSA, maintaining contact with enemy rearguards.  
  3   B.S.M. Scott and L/Bdr Lapidus proceeded to TRIPOLI to take part in a special parade for Churhill.  
  5   Immediate awards of M.C.s to Capt. E.J.V. Williams and Lt. R.E. Stome and M.Ms to B.S.M Maddison, Sgts May, Short and Steward and L/Bdr (D/M) McDowall, See Appendix 'A'
  6 1100 Moved forward to assembly area near REAGDALEN once more contacting Staffs Yeo and rejoinding 8 Armd Bde.  
  6   Gnr. Hiscok admitted to hospital.  
  7 0915 Advanced in single track though EL ASSA to support 1 Buffs who were attempting a crossing of the marshes on the TUNISIAN border.  
993786 7 1400 After a slow move, Bty in action. During the day Bty engaged infantry and gun positions West of the marsh, concluding with Regtl target ranged by one of the Bty's O.Ps. onto enemy defended area. This shoot was very effective as was found when the area was secured the next day and probably a deciding factor in pushing the enemy back.  
  8 0915 Rejoined Staffs Yeo and moved forward to a position nearer the marsh.  
    1000 It was reported that the enemy had definitely withdrawn and were not within 3 miles of the frontier in this area. The going across the marsh however was very bad and as the road crossing had been demolished recces were carried out to discover suitable place to make a crossing.  
  8 1140 F.O.Os and B.C. crossed the marsh with Staffs although the going was difficult.  
    1220 It was decided to attempt a crossing with the Bty and it was ordered forward. With the assistance of some tanks from Staffs Yeo the crossing was successfully accomplished.  
930859   1420 'C' Troop was in action and engaging enemy MET seen moving S.W. in the distance.  
909859   1535 'H' Troop in action further West and was then joined by 'C' Troop. Some enemy infantry and MET were engaged at extreme range, but observation was difficult. No other guns of the Regt crossed th marsh that day. Enemy tanks appeared in the evening, but did not come closer that 3500 yds to our own tanks.  
  8   Gnr. Davies and Dvr. Llewellyn returned to the Bty.  
  9   During the day, the F.O.O., working with Staffs Yeo, engaged enemy infantry and MET at long range. No further advance was made, as the object was to gold the bridgehead until further troops could cross and until the causeway could be repaired. Enemy tanks again appeared during the evening and again withdrew.  
  10 0900 'H' Tp advanced for the day to support 'C' Troop which was accompanying a small force of tanks towards TAGUELMET to probe the enemy's defences in this area.  
    1000 Capt Wixley and tank patrol set off.  
      H engaged enemy MET, infantry and suspected O.P. by observed shooting.  
850880   1400 C Tp in action and engaged MET on the road south of TAGUELMET.  
909859 10 1600 C Tp followed by H Tp returned to Bty position. At least 7 enemy tanks appeared as C Tp was starting to withdraw, but did not advance, and disappeared at last light.  
      The patrol found very little enemy resistance and the targets engaged were only of minor importance.  
  10   Gnr Foart admitted to hospital  
  11 - 13   O.Ps remained in observation with Staffs Yeo, but very little enemy movement was seen and on 13th TAGUELMET  was reported clear by armoured cars. The weather was bad during the period 9-13, with a good deal of rain, and the crossing of the marsh being difficult, hindered the necessary arrangements for further advance.  
  13   Gnr. Smith. J.N. admitted to hospital.  
810725 14 1100 Bty joined Staffs Regtl Gp and moved with them to assembly area south of TAGUELMET where they spent the night.  
  14   Gnr. Nippard return to the Bty.  
650985 15 0915 8 Armd Bde with Staffs Regtl Gp leading advances on BEN BARDANE and by 1135 hrs the Bty was in action just South of the town, no opposition having been encountered.  
623000     Staffs Yeo pushed to Cut the road West of the town ad Bty was moved forward into the Regtl. position. Tanks and F.O.Os encountered some shelling, but there was no opposition.  

 

 

 

287569

16

0930

 

 

1735

Tank patrol, accompanied by H Tp moved West to survey a crossing of the WADI FESSI and to report on the ground beyond. No opposition was encountered and the final objective was reached by 1300 hrs. The going West of the Wadi wad found to be very soft and bumpy, but a good route was found, enabling the Regt to come into action in this area after some delay.

 

(N.W. African Grid)

   

Although the operation began as a tank patrol, by last light all 8 Armd Bde was in position West of the Wadi and no opposition had been encountered.

 
  17 0830 8 Armd Bde, Staffs Yeo (CC Bty in support) leading advanced to take up position South of NEFATIA and encountered no opposition.  
052609   1310 Bty in action, joined later by rest of Regt.  
  18  

No movement seen.

Relief of 8 Armd Bde by 22 Armd Bde commenced.

Bty placed in support of 1 R.T.R.

 
  18   Bdr. (MM) Loader and Dvr. Walker admitted to hospital.  
  19   Relief completed.  
    1935 Joined 1 R.Bs. to support them in advance by 22 Armd Bde on MEDENINE.  
 

 

20

 

0115

Moved by night to assembly area East of MEDENINE and assisted by full moon, the Bty went into action.

 
    0800 Assisted by thick mist, 22 Armd Bde advances to the North East of MEDENINE  and encountered very little opposition until the mist cleared at about 1200 hrs when shelling increased considerably, By this time the leading troops were past MEDENINE and MATAMEUR and 5 R.T.R. succeeded in cutting the road North of these places.  
      Owing to the heavy shelling, the Bty was unable to take up a suitable position to conform with the Bde for some time.   
720891   1700 Later however they advance into a Regtl position. F.O.Os being sent out to 1 R.T.R.  
  21 0715 First light reports were that the enemy had withdrawn N.W. and the the important heights N.W. of METANEUR had been occupied by 131 Bde.  
  22   Enemy reported to have made further withdrawals  
703881 23 1135 Advanced to further Regtl position, but very little firing during the day.  
  24 0915 Lt. Barrow went forward to Recce, high ground to the West, not held by us, and to establish an O.P. there. Much useful information was brought back and as this ground was not held by the enemy, it was decided to occupy it.  
    1745 Recce patrols left to prepare new gun area.  
    1900 Bty leaguered prior to a night move to new area.  
  25 0400 Bty advanced to new area over unreconnoitred ground, but helped by a fill moon, it was in action by 0530 hrs supporting 1 R.T.R.  
      Numerous targets were engaged throughout the day, although O.P.s were forced by enemy shelling to move continuously. A few rounds fell in the gun area, Gnr. Benjamin being slightly wounded.  
  26   Further targets were engaged, largely by round bearings.  
    1045 Bty. C.P. was heavily shelled by 105mms or larger, Dvr. Calver and Gnrs. Ungless and Hale being wounded. (the latter, later died of his wounds).  
    1730 Tanks reported in the foothills to the West and 1 R.T.R took up battle positions accordingly. Nothing happened however, and report was doubted.  
696877 27 1230 Bty moved back to rejoin the Regt in the Bde position West of METANEUR   
  28   Maintenance and general clearing. Bather parties proceeded to MEDENINE. No movement see and no targets engaged.  

 

 

APPENDIX 'A'

 AWARDS


 
MILITARY CROSS
CAPT. E.J.V. WILLIAMS -     For deeds carried out at ALAMEIN
LT. R.E. STONE -     For deeds carried out at ALAMEIN
   
MILITARY MEDAL
W/SGT Stewart. T. -     For deeds carried out at ALAMEIN
     
W/W.O.II. MADDISON. J. )
(BSM) )
SGT. MAY R.N. )  For deeds carried out at AGHEILA
W/SGT. SHORT. J. )
L/BDR. McDOWALL. D. )
   (DM) )

 

 

 

March 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
696877 1   Nothing to report. Situation as Appendix 'A'  
693879 2 1730 Bty moved East to a fresh Regtl position (WELLINGTON), this being centrally placed with 22 Armd Bde, to counter any attack. Emergency stand to's were ordered as an attack was expected.  
  3   Recces surveyed further possible Bde positions, General reports indicate Southerly movement of enemy MET in the hills to the West. Light enemy infantry attacks in the North were easily repulsed.  
  4 & 5   Further recces of ground carried out.  
  6 0700 At first light there was a thick mist, but signs of an enemy attack from the West were reported and tanks were identified.  
    0830 F.O.Os were already with 1 R.T.R. who moved into previously reconnoitred battle positions facing North and West. Reports indicate a large number of tanks with guns and infantry advancing from the West and North.  
    0950 Bty started to fire on previously arranged D/F/ task. They continued firing almost continually throughout the day on orders from either the F.O.Os or the C.R.A. At least one tank was seen to 'brew up' in the area in which our shells were falling, and infantry forming up for any attack were dispersed. 1 R.T.R. worked forward to engage the enemy tanks and were accompanied by the F.O.Os who sent back much valuable information as well as causing much damage by observed shooting.  
      At last light no major penetration of our positions had been made and the enemy had suffered heavy losses.  
  7   D.F. tasks were fired throughout the night. First light reports were " No movement seen" and it was soon apparent that the enemy had withdrawn, leaving behind many knocked out tanks.  
      Later investigation showed that at least 11 tanks knocked out in the area of our firing, many having been disabled by H.E. splinters. Total number of tanks knocked out during this battle of MEDENINE was 52. Total number of rounds fired by the Bty, in 24 hrs was 1022.  
  8   'Stand to' cancelled. Rest and maintenance.  
  9 - 13   Maintenance, training and recces carried out.  
  10   Gnr. Carter. E. admitted to hospital. Lt. R. Whitely returned to the Bty.  
  13   Gnrs. Rogers and West. E.J. admitted to hospital. Bdr. Bartley, L/Bdr. Brown. T.M., Gnrs. Howard. J.W., Siers, Wigmore and  D/M Stone returned to the Bty.  
637924 14 200 Bty with essential vehicles moved forward to positions from which to cover 201 Gds. Bde. The positions was very cramped and movement during the day had to be reduced to a minimum. See Appendix 'B'
  16 2145 Fired barraged to cover attacked by the Gds Bde. Attacked reported successful and objectives taken.  
  17   Gds were unable to hold their objectives and Bty fired D.Fs to try and assist them in remaining and secondly a smoke screen to assist the withdrawal.  
  18   Amn. expenditure restricted to 10 R.P.G  
      Dvrs. Moscovitch, Benton and Kyle returned to the Bty.  
  19   Maj. Gen B.G. Horrocks D.S.O., M.C. Commanding 10 Corps visited the Regt, and met essential Officers of the Bty.  
  20 0500 Fired concentrations as part of a feint attack.  
    2145 Commenced firing barrage as part of diversion for main attacked on the MARETH LINE.  
743942 21 0001 hrs Left position to join tanks of 22 Armd Bde in previously recced position to the East. This position was found to be occupied by 8 Army HQ and 30 Corps HQ, so Bty leaguered while further recces were carried out.  
628926   1800 Bty eventually in action not very far from the position evacuated early in the morning.  
  22   No firing from this position.  
      Reports indicated that a bridgehead had been formed in the North of the MARETH LINE, but was being held with difficulty.  
  23   Bty moved N.E. to take over Bty area from Bty of 4 Indian Div. 1 R.T.R. were in a position to deal with any counter attack from the MARETH position. The bridgehead made by 50 Div. had to be abandoned and this Div was relieved by 51 (H) Div.  
  24   On both days some movement of MET East and West was seen from the O.Ps and occasional opportunity targets were engaged.  
635955   1800 Bty moved S. West once again and occupied a position at last light.  
693879 25   Bty returned to WELLINGTON position, 22 Armd Bde having been withdrawn into Corps reserve.  
      Reports were received that N.Z. Corps and 1 Armd Div. has made a successful outflanking movement to the West and were pushing the enemy back on EL HAMMA and GABES  
618835 26   Bty moved West to support an attack by 1 R.B. on DJEBEL SAIKRA.  
    1530 Concentration fired as part of a demonstration against this high ground.  
  27 0520 Concentration fired to support attack by 1 R.B. Attack was successful and O.Ps were order to push forward as quickly as possible. Little opposition was encountered except for mortars, but extensive minefields were discovered.  
  28   Under short notice to move to rejoin 22 Armd Bde, but did not move.  
      TOUJANE, MATMATA and ZELTENE reported taken. EL HAMMA clear of enemy.  
  29   Still no move. At 6 hrs notice.  
      Capt. A.C.S. Gimson posted as G.S.O.3, 201 Gds. Bde.  
      L/Bdr(MM) Dipper returned to the Bty. Gnr Findings posted to the BTY from B.D.R.A.  
438038 30   The whole Div moved North through the MARETH position toward EL M'DON, but were forced to halt while minefields were cleared.  
  31   Moved to Bde leaguer area South of M'DOU. Bty leaguering with 1 R.T.R.  

 

Appendix 'A'

SECRET.                

AMENDMENT NO.1 to 5 RHA OPERATION ORDER NO.35

dated 28 Feb 43.


 

Par  14(iii) 1 R.Tanks - Delete present detail and insert :-
" will be prepared to occupy battle posn from incl track METAMEUR - GAETTAR Eastwards to approx 70 Grid line."

 

Para 17 Delete para (i)
"(i) Each Bty will maintain an O.P. with the Armd Regt they are supporting, to cover zones as follows :-
K Bty:- excl rd MEDININE - MARETH to incl 80 Northing Grid.
G Bty:- incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE to incl track METAMEUR - E 6264.
CC Bty:- incl track METAMEUR - rd junc E 5072 to track MEDININE  - E 7669 - E 7753.
K Bty will also establish an OP on the high feature E 660833:
this OP will be dug in and connected by L/T with the Bty posn, and will be manned at once in the event of "Stand to" being given. An officer will be detailed daily to man this OP in case required.
Locations of OPs will be forwarded to the office by 1200 hrs 2 Mar."

 

Capt.
Adjt.
Distribution.
G Bty ........1 C.O...........4
K Bty ........2 C.O.2........5
CC Bty ... .3 File ...........6

 

 

SECRET

5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.35

Copy No. ..3

(Ref map TUNISIA 1/200,000, Sheet 29.)

28 Feb 43

 

 

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy.

(a)

 

The enemy is holding the MARETH line from ZARAT to TOUJANE with an outpost line on high ground WEST of WADI ZEUSS ending at a defended locality on the DJEBEL RENTSIESE 5386. Covering his right flank is a forces holding the HALLOUF pass E 47, E46

(b)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His dispositions are believed to be as follows:-

German
15 Armd Div WEST of WADI ZEUSS SOUT of rd MARETH-MEDININ, as far as DJEBEL REMTSIA
90 Lt Div ARRAM and MARETH line WEST of main rd.
164 Lt Div ) In MARETH Line EAST of TOUTAI E 4991 and in hills area TOUJANE -Bj ZELTANE - HALLOUF
Italian )
XII Corps )
PISTOLA
TRIESTE
XX Corps MARETH line EAST of ARRAM
SPEZIA
YOUNG FASCISTS
Battle Gp of 15 Armd Div, PGR Africa, one coy A.Tk guns from 21 Armd Div and CENTAURO battle gp are believed to be returning to this front from KHASSERINE area, and will probably arrive about 27 Feb.

(c)

 

 

The enemy is now receiving considerable reinforcements of men and materials, and will the calling off of the advance towards TEBESSA, will probably hold his present posns more strongly. He has definitely broken contact in the KHASSERINE area and may concentrate his forces against us in the hope of dealing a blow before we have built up our fill strength.

(d)

 

 

Details of the enemy's defences and strength will be issued separately. C/B information shows his main gun area to have been 27 Feb from E 5600 to % 4898 with some guns EAST of WADI ZIGAOU in general area of X tracks E 5495. His FDLs follow general line of high ground E 5795 0 E 5491 - E 5689 - E 5183.
2. Own Troops.

(i)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Armd Div are scouring Pt 214 feature E 5986, TAJJEFAS E 7078 and HARBOUB E 7574 L.Gs and protecting left flank of 30 Corps.

(a)

 

131 Bde

 

is holding a defensive posn on general line E 6088 - E 5986 - E 6484 and observing enemy between inter div bndy and E 85 northing grid.

(b)

 

22 Armd Bde

 

is ready to occupy battle posn MOORE E 6580 at 15 mins notice. It is reconnoitring as far WEST as possible, and is prepared to counter-attack any enemy adv NORTH or SOUTH of MOORE.

(c)

 

1/Buffs

 

with 75 A.Tk Regt less one bty under comd have formed an A.Tk screen SOUTH from incl MOORE battle posn to protect MEDNIN L.Gs

(d)

4 Lt Armd Bde

is protecting left flank of 7 Armd Div, and observing the rds leading EAST from TOUJANE.

(e)

12 L

are observing enemy between E 85 NORTHING and incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE.

(ii)

51 (H) Div is disposed as followe:-

(a)

 

153 Bde

 

in posn on line WADI ZEUSS NORTH of line E 6799 - Z 6203 with one Bn EAST of WADI ZESSOR. If heavily attacked are to withdraw to line of WADI ZESSOR, which will be held.

(b)

 

152 Bde

 

are maintaining firm base on high ground area E 6596 with outpost on WADI ZEUSS. One bn is being kept mobile EAST of WADI ZESSOR.

(c)

154 Bde

is holding area E 6292 - ABDELLA E 7592.

(d)

 

23 Armd Bde

 

50 R.Tanks area E 6596.

40 R.Tamks area E 7592

3.

A Fighting French force (Force L) under comd General LECLERC is operating WEST of 4 Lt Armd Bde.

4. 201 Guards Bde are arriving about 2 Mar and may take over area held by 154 Bde.
5. 8 Armd Bde are arribing about 2 Mar and are to be in Corps Reserve area MEDININE, prepared to occupy battle position are E 6972.

6.

 

RAF are carrying out extensive bombing by day and niht and intensifying attacks on enemy air force. HARBOUR L.G. (E 7472) is in use by fighter and it is hoped to operate MEDININE WEST L.G. (7077) shortly.

7. One Bn I.M.P is deployed for immediate defense of MEDININE L.Gs.
8. Inter Div Bndy incl 51 (H) Div X tracks E 630873 - ABDALLA E 6089 - excl GLIEB ET TINE E 5691 - incl X tracks E 538949.
9. Med Arty 69 Med Regt area E 6387 and 7 Med Regt area MEDININE under comd CAGRA.

10.

Minefields.

 (i)

CRE is laying a marked minefield in WADI ZEUSS NORTH of E 85 Northing Grid

(ii)

CRE is laying unmarked scatted minefields across tracks at foot of the hills area E 57.

(iii)

CRE is laying marked dummy minefields in front of our FDLs
 
 
INTENTION.

11.

5 RHA will support 22 Armd Bde

METHOD,

12.

 

5 RHA under comd CRA, in support of 22 Armd Bde, while in MOORE posn, but revert to 22 Armd Bde if the latter are ordered to move from this posn.

13.

Btys are allotted to Armd Regts as follows, in the event of any move:-

G Bty RHA

 . . 5 R.Tanks

K Bty RHA

 . . 4 CLY

CC Bty RHA

 . . 1 R.Tanks

14.

 

 

 

 

(i)

 

5 R.Tanks are prepares to occupy battle posn from excl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE at Pt 140 (E6580) to excl track METAMEUT - GAETTAR at E 6677.
(ii) 4 CLY are prepared to occupy battle posn from E 6582 to incl rd METAMEUR - TOUJANE at Pt 140.
(iii) 1 R.Tanks in reserve, in rear of 5 R.Tanks.

15.

Gun area 6570, 6679 6779.

16.

Z.L. 280

17.

 

 

 

 

O.Ps.

 

 

 

(i)

 

 

 

Each bty will maintain one OP on a static posn, to cover zones as follows:-

G Bty - West of 67 Easting Grid and South of 80 Northing.

K Bty - Right of 6387 to 5092: Left Track 6879 to 5072.

CC Bty - West of 67 Easting Grid and North of 80 Northing.

(ii) Each bty will maintain one FOO with the Armd Regts they are supporting at nights.

18.

 

 

 

 

(i)

 

 

 

D.F. Task for MOOR posn:-

G Bty   :- E 63000 80200 to a point 100 yds due North.

K Bty   :- E 63000 80300 to a point 100 yds due North.

CC Bty :- E 63000 80400 to a point 100 yds due North..

(ii) D.F. wil be fired on orders from this HQ, and will be answered by 2 mins Rate 5 followed by 3 Mins Rate 3.
19. State of Readiness.

 

 

 

 

 

(i)

All units at 15 mins notice to move 

(ii)

 

Alarm Signal: RED - WHITE - RED, on receipt of which all units will stand to immediately, and will not stand down until orders from this HQ.

(iii)

Code work for stand to:- "PYGMALION", on which all units will stand to until receipt of "VAPEX" (stand down).
(iv) All units will stand to from 0545 - 0645, and 1815 - 1915 hrs daily. All vehicles will be started at stand to.

20.

Patrolling.

 

 

 

(i)

 

5 R.Tanks and 4 CLY will be maintaining patrols both by day and night on line rd E 5577 - 6284, keeping contact with 12 L on right, and with ROYALS on lef.

(ii)

Patrols of 12 L and ROYALS will be returning through own lines after last light and going out before first light each day.

21.

 

A.A.   145 Lt AA Bty at present under comd CRA, and operating on area basis, but reverts to command 22 Armd Bde on move from present area.

22. Amn.

 

 

 

(i)

 

The Regt is officially limited to 20 rpg for Div HB policy, and 10 rpg for other tgts. Btys will therefore bear this in mind, if engaging tgts (not HBs) and will notify this HQ if the expenditure starts to exceed this, that that extra allotment can be requested.

(ii)

All echelons to be kept full and on wheels until further orders.

23.

B Ech - under Bde control in area E 8575.

24.

Replenishment - normal.

25.

Rec. LAD at E 6679 (in area of G Bty WLs).

26.

 

Med. RAP with CC Bty.

         Further admin information when available

INTERCOMN.

27.

L/T to Btys, 22 Armd Bde, RA 7 Armd Div

28.

 

 

 

R/T

(i)

Listening watch on Bde Rear Link.

(ii) Regtl net checks not 0600 hrs daily, otherwise listening watch.
(iii) RA Rear Link as ordered.

29.

 

 

 

 

(i)

Tac and Main RHQ at 673798 wef 0930 hrs 1 Mar.

(ii) 22 Armd Bde HQ E 6878. (iii) Main 7 Armd Div E 7180.
(iv) Rear 7 Amrd Div E 7777. (v) Main 51 (H) Div E 9394
(vi) Main 30 Corps E 9083
ACK.

Capt.  

T.O.S. 0751/A

Adj.  

Distribution.
G Bty........1 LAD........................5 OO...........................9
K Bty........2 145 Lt AA Bty.........6 QM.........................10
CC Bty.....3 CO...........................7 MO.........................11
Sig Sec......4 CO2.........................8 W/Diary...................12/13
File...........................14

 

 

S E C R E T          

14 Mar 43.           

5 RHA OPERATIONAL ORDER NO.37

Copy No. ..3

(Ref map 1/50,000 TUNISIA, 91.NE, 91.SE, 92.NW, 92.SW
 

 

INFORMATION.

1. Enemy. As issued to L.Os 14 March.

2. Own Troops.

(i)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a)

 

210 Gds Bde (less 2.S.Gs) occupying area 630945 - 610920 approx night 14/15 march. This move will take place as soon after last light as possible.

(b)

4 C.L.Y are moving into the area Southern half Square 6291, night 14/15 March, to act as left protection to 201 Gds Bde.

(c)

22 Armd Bde (less 4 CLY) remain prsent area.

(d)

1 S.Gs and 1.RB. are holding origina 201 Gds Bde fron (i.e. approx 6384 - 6579) until relieved by 2 Armd bde, 0001 hrs 16 Mar.

(e)

7 Indian Inf Bde, less 1 Bttn, relieve 131 Bde South from excluding ABDALLA to 6385, night 15/16 Mar.

(f) 131 Inf Bde take over Southern portion of 154 Bde front from approx 603891 to 615916, night 15/16 March.

3.

 

7 Armd Div artillery is moving into area 6292, 6392, 6492and South and East of this, to support subsequent attack of 201 Gds Bde on "HORSEHOE" feature (582956 - 575956 - SIDI EL GUELAA 5694 - ZEHMOULA 5793).

INTENTION.

4.

 

(i) 5 RHA will move to battle position in area 6292, as already recce'd, on night 14/15 March
(ii) 5 RHA will support 22nd Armd Bde throughout.
METHOD,

5.

Zero line 270

6.

 

Depart present area:- K.Bty - 2000 hrs 14 Mar: CC.Bty - As soon at tail of K Bty is clear: G.Bty - on receipt of code word "DANDELION" (unless previously notified that this will no longer apply, in which case, will move when tail of CC.Bty is clear, see para 8 below

7.

 

 

Route. As recce'd a.m 14 March to x tks 649922, thence to Bty posns. the route will be lighted at intervals by 22 Armd Bde Pro. Div TCP will be established at x tks 649922, and leading vehicle of K.Bty will report to TCP that they are the first vehicle of 5 RHA. G.Bty will detail one officer to travel in read of their column, who will report to TCP when tail of Regt is clear.

8.

D.F.

 

(i) Regt is at present responsible for DF on front 2 S.Gs (D.F 1000) 121 Fd Regt are however, to take over this task as soon as possible. This relief may be completed prior to commencement of move, in which case Regt will have NO DF responsibilities during the move: F.O.O from G Bty at present at present with 2 S.Gs may return to his Bty as soon as relieved by F.O.O from 121 Fd.

(ii) Should this relieve NOT be completed prior to 2000 hrs 14 Mar, G Bty will continue to be prepared to engage D.F 1000 and will NOT depart present area until receipt of "DANDELION". This code word will be given by K.Bty and will indicate that K.Bty is in action and ready to engage DF 1000. F.O.O from G.Bty will remain with 2 S.Gs until relieved by 121 Fd. Similarly G and CC Btys will be prepared to engage this D.F if required on arrival.

(iii) On arrival new area, K.Bty will contact HQ 201 Gds Bde and ascertain DF task arranged with 58 Fd Regt RA (who are responsible for close support of 201 Gds Bde until 1000 hrs 16 Mar, when this responsibility is taken over by 3 RHA.) As soon as the Regt is relieve of responsibility of D.F 1000, S.O.S task will be as required by 201 Gds Bde.

9. F.O.Os.
(i) 1 F.O.O from K.Bty will contact 4 CLY by 1800/14 and remain with them until further orders.
(ii) F.O.Os from CC Bty will contact 1 R.Tanks and 5 R.Tanks respectively and will remain with them in present area.
(iii) F.O.O from G.Bty with 2 S.Gs until relieved by 121 Fd.

(iv)

F.O.O from K.Bty with 201 Gds Bde (less 2 S.Gs) as soon as possible after completion of move, night 14/15.

10.

 

Minefields.

R.E. are supposed to have lifter all mines in 154 Bde's sectop, less field from 635925 to 632917..

11.

Speed and Density.  80 v.t.m     4 m.i.h

12. No Halts.

13.

Wadi crossing by TCP at 649922 is ONE WAY only.

14.

Btys will report immediately all guns are in action by coder word "BUTTERCUP".

15.

 

All guns will be dug in and vehicles camouflages, and slit trenches dug, by 1st light 15 March. During hours of daylight 15 & 16 March MINIMUM movement allowed around gun positions, and NO movement of vehicles unless operationally essential.

16.

A.A. Tps Lt.A.A. with Btys. All A.A. guns will be sited below crests.

17.

 

B.1 Echelons Bty B.1 Echelons will move under Bty arrangements to area WADI ZESSAR between 93 and 94 Northing Grid. All Echelons to be under an officer and to have R/T communication with their Btys.

ADMIN

18.

B.Echelon remains present area.

19.

Ammn 160 r.p.g dumped battle positions. 1st line ammn with Btys on wheels

20.

Med. RAP with TAC RHA.
21. Rec. LAD remains present area, but will move fwd to new Main RHQ area when latter moves.
INTERCOM.
22. Regtl net opens 1830 hrs 14 Mar; then listening watch until connected by L/T in new area.

23.

 

 

 

F.O.Os with Armd Regts will newt on Regtl frequency at 1830 hrs, as follows:- K.Bty F.O.O with 4 CLY ... "F.5 Orange". CC.Bty (a) FOO with 1 R.Tanks ... "F.6 Orange 1", (b) FOO with 51 R.Tanks ... "F.6 Orange 2".

RHQ will maintain one set open, to answer calls from FOOs; FOOS will come up to check net at 2000 hrs, 2200 hrs, 14 Mar; and subsequently 0545 hrs, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800 and 2200 hrs daily.

24. Tac RHQ closed present location 1830 hrs 14 Mar and opens 628930 on arrival.
25. Main RHQ Will recce area 6587 (being vacated by 4 CLY, night 14/15 Mar) and will move to that area p.m. 15 Mar if possible.

26.

Synchronisation. R/T or Lt. 0630 hrs daily
ACK.

Captain RHA.         

T.O.S

Adjutant.                        

Distribution.
G Bty........1
K Bty........2
CC Bty.....3
CO...........4
O.O..........5
File............6

 

 

April 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
450150 1   Recce parties went forward to prepare positions for forthcoming attacks on the AKARIT position. Capt. W.R.L Addison. R.H.A. posted to the Bty from 'K' Bty R.H.A. and assumed the duties of 'C' Troops Cmdr.  
190478 2   Bty moved forward into action, occupying the position at last light.  
      Lt. R.E. Stone. M.C. R.H.A. returned to the Bty.  
  3   L/Bdr Venables admitted to hospital.  
  3 - 5   Only Recces carried out by F.O.Os  
  6 0445 Bty fire a barrage and concentration in support of attack by 51 (HD) Division on AKARIT positions.  
    0630 Attack appeared to be going well, all frist objectives having been taken, while on the left all objectives were reported to be in our hands.  
110520   1500 Moved forward to position under DJEBEL TABAGA.  
      Apart from the barrage the Bty did not take much active part in the battle on this day, as opportunity targets presented themselves.  
  7 0800 Rejoined 1 R.T.R. Regtl Gp and moved them them through a gap in the minefields to harass and pursue the retreating enemy. Two successive positions were occupied and from each enemy tanks, guns and MET were successfully engaged.  
      Towards last light two areas containing concentrations of enemy MET were successfully engaged and were also straffed by 'tank hunting' aircraft.  
191742 8 0715 The pursuit of the enemy continued, four successive positions being occupies and enemy guns and MET were successfully engaged from each. The tanks were shelled several times during the day, but there was no shelling on the Bty position.  
      Sgt. Thomas, L/Bdr. Lord, L/Sgt. Chapman and L/Sgt Ede MM returned to the Bty.  
  9   The advance continued through more close country with large Olive Groves and ploughed land. The going was difficult except on the one road available, which was very crowded, but the Bty occupied 5 successive positions from each of which large columns of MET were engaged as well as some guns. The the area EL AGREB there was a great congestion of enemy vehicles moving towards SFAX and much confusion was caused amongst these.  
  10   Bde advanced rapidly over very close and hilly country in the direction of SFAX.  
770467   1300 No opposition was encountered and a defensive position was taken up astride the road North of SFAX facing North.  
    1540 Orders received to move to support 1 R.B. in an advance Northwards.  
772645   1610 Move cancelled but Bty leaguered in a Regtl area.  
      Sgt. Thomas posted to 'K' Bty. R.H.A.  
      Gnr Hall. E. attached to Signal Section. R.H.Q., 5. R.H.A.  
  11 - 12   Bty remained in same area, sending parties to bathe and visit SFAX.  
  13   Regt. move North-West to an area South of KAIROUAN.  
  14   Maintenance.  
065572 15   Move Northwards continued to an area South of DJEBAL FADELOUN.  
  16   Immediate award of M.M. to No. 987735 Dvr.IC. Shipperly. H.J. See Appendix 'A'
  17-18   Recces carried out.  
  18   Dvr.IC. Rosier admitted to hospital.  
136770 19 1530 Bty moved North to previously recced positions which was occupied at last light.  
  20   Following an attacked by the 131 Inf Bde, the F.O.Os went forward at first light and reported first objectives taken, During the day the Bty engaged infantry and guns, many of the enemy positions being accurately registered by the O.Ps.  
      During the night harassing tasks were fired.  
  21   Gnr. Pennifold returned to the Bty. Gnr Turner posted to the Bty from Depot. R.A.  
  22   Capt. R.A. Pitt. R.H.A posted to the Bty from 'G' Bty (Mercer's Tp) R.H.A. and assumed the duties of 'H' Troop Cmdr.  
  21-25   Harassing tasks were fired night and morning. Many enemy positions and some guns and MET were engaged by F.O.Os much use being made of Regtl concentrations which were most effective. The enemy's movements decreased each day and targets became much harder to spot. Several rounds landed in the Bty area, but the only causality was No. 1089699 Gnr Hooker. R.G. who was wounded in a heavy enemy concentration on the area on A.1. Echelon.  
  23   Capt. G.F. Elston posted to 51st Med. Regt. R.A as Major. Gnr. Linscer went with him.  
  25   In spite of shelling an Easter Sunday Service was held in the Bty area.  
132827 26   F.O.Os operated with 1 R.T.R. who had just taken the left flank protection of the Division.  
      H Tp moved to a forward position at first light returning at dark.  
      Very little movement was seen and few targets engaged.  
132827 27   C Tp moved to forward position as 'H' Tp had done on 26th. The day was very quiet and little firing was done.  
    1900 Bty moved South and concentrated in a Regtl leaguer prior to a Divisional move.  
      Lt. W.H.H. Allon, L/Bdr. Latham and Gnrs Goldstraw and Robinson slightly wounded by a mine, the first named remaining at duty.  
278727 28 0915 Moved to Divisional Concentration area.  
      Gnr Rameaux admitted to hospital  
      L/Bdr. Ansell returned to the Battery.  
  29   Plans issued for large scale attack up the coast road North of ENFIDAVILLE.  
  30   All previous plans cancelled.  
    1830 Commenced move through the hills to the West to join 1st Army. It was a very dark night but the drivers were splendid and there were no accidents in the Battery during the night. The night move proved slow and very tedious with many halts due to vehicles in from breaking down, especially as far as ABIKHA.  
      Bdr. Whieldon admitted to hospital.  

 

 

APPENDIX 'A'

 AWARDS


 
MILITARY MEDAL
DVR.IC. SHIPPERLY. H.J. Stewart. T. For deeds carried out at TARHUNA
     

Auth Appendix to M.E.G.O. Serial 153.

List No 152 d/- 23 April, 43

 

 

 

May 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
465660 1   The move to join 1st Army continued with many hold ups due to deviations and steep hills. At last light, the Regiment leaguered close to the route as it was considered too dark to continue over difficult roads  
276030 2 0500 The move continued and by 1100 hrs the Battery has reached its leaguer area between LE KRIB and TESOUROUK. The route had been via SBIKA - OUSELTIA - SILIAHA and included some very bad going, including very steep roads over the mountains. Two vehicles had to be evacuated because of mechanical breakdowns.  
  3 - 4   Maintenance and preparation for the pending attack. B.C. carried out recce of F.D.L area East of MEDJEZ-EL-BAB and later learned the plan of attack on TUNIS from 7 Armd Div, Cmdr.  
  5 0900 Battery joined 1 R.T.R. Regtl Group.  
    1315 Regtl groups moved by by narrow lanes to assemble area 2 miles South of MEDJEZ-EL-BAB ready to move forward to attack early next morning. This route was the right hand of two routes on which the Division was advancing.  
  6 0515 Regtl Group advance to the F.D.Ls which had been held by 4 Indian Div who had attacked earlier in the morning.  
    0715 A halt was called while the Regtl. Cmdr. found out how the the attack was going and while a study of the ground was made. The area here was very cramped by minefields and our own gun positions, but we soon moved forward into a more open area and were able to disperse. Our own artillery support was tremendous, (approx 400 field guns over the front is 1 gun per 7 yds) as was the air support, but there was very little enemy shelling or small arms fire and only one brief air attack was seen all day.  
764420   1330 Following up the attacking infantry, the Bty came into action in a position from which the tanks could be supported into there first objective DJEBEL - ALHOUR. The tanks encounter very little opposition and the Bty had few targets except one A/Tk gun which was silences and some infantry and MET.  
    1530 Tanks reached first objective and the Bty. started to move forward to join them there. The going was difficult but a suitable route was found and the Bty came into action close behind the Light Sqn. From there Infantry and MET were successfully engaged, but no further advance was made, so the plan was to consolidate  this objective first. Here, an area into which the Bty had been firing earlier, were found several several lorries abandoned, 2 50 mm A/Tk guns, destroyed, 1 MK III tank and 1 - tracked vehicle abandoned and one 75mm SP. gun burning. 30 -40 German prisoners were taken in this area. See Appendix 'B' for more information.
      During the day the tanks and F.O.Os were bombed twice by our own planes, but there were no casualties.  
824455   1845 Bty closed in to the Bde defensive position and prepared for fire on D.F. tasks in required.  
      Last light reports indicate enemy withdrawing rapidly behind an A.Tk ditch at ST. CYPRIENNE  
  7 0500 First light reports nothing to be seen.  
    0515 The tanks advanced and the Bty, moving by Tps returned to its previous positions, ready to support the advance of the tanks onto the second objective about ST. CYPRIENNE  
      Some opposition was encountered from odd A.Tk guns and mortars, but by 0840 the tanks had occupied the high ground just North of ST. CYPRIENNE. During this advance the Bty, successfully engaged several A.Tk guns, including some 88 mm's, besides Infantry, MET and a few tanks which withdrew.  
   

0840

 

The Bty moved forward down the main road MEDJEZ-EL-BAB - TUNIS and came into action 

 
    0945 close behind the tanks, ready to support their advance onto their third objective - the hills overlooking TUNIS.  
      The formation on our right (6 Armd Div) was held up and was well behind us, but the Bty engaged 8 tanks drawn up in battle order facing 6 Armd Div and forced them to withdraw at least 100 yds. The tanks were first engaged by indirect fire, but after ranging, the firing continued over open sights at an range of about 6000 yds. Rather surprisingly the tanks, which appeared to include 2 MK VIs failed to reply at all to our fire and slowly withdrew, this allowing 6 Armd Div to continue its advance.  
   

 

 

1320

 

The formation on our left - 5 R.T.R and 4 C.L.Y - were also rather held up by 88 mm fire, but 1 R.T.R. continued to advance without much opposition and successfully reached the third objective, from where we could see TUNIS. During this advance the Bty successfully engaged more tanks, besides guns and MET.

 
    1330 Bty once more started to close up to the tanks, but could nit use the road as it was found still to be covered by an enemy A.Tk gun  
    1430 The going across country was difficult for the wheeled vehicles, but the Bty again came into action close behind the leading tanks, so that it could support them right into TUNIS.  
    1430 H Tp fired their first round into TUNIS at about 7000 yds range.  
      The tanks advanced fairly rapidly to the outskirts of TUNIS, meeting very little opposition, while the BTY shelled columns of MET moving away.  
    1515 Leading tanks of 1 R.T.R. accompanied by O.C. 'CC' Bty and part of C Coy. 1 R.B. reached the outskirts of TUNIS. here a small amount of small arms fire was encountered, but this was soon dealt with and prisoners started to come in, in fairly large numbers. 1 R.T.R. formed a firm base in the area which the had reached and allowed 5 R.T.R. to pass through them further into TUNIS, where some fighting was still continuing.  
021841   1750 Having emptied guns into the LAKE OF TUNIS the Bty moved down the road to join 1 R.T.R. group in leaguer for the night.  
  8 0500 After a quite night, the Group moved out of leaguer onto the road TUNIS - BIZERTA, along which it advance North.  
010625   0700 Bty dropped into action and engaged some MET moving North. Prisoners started to come in once again and at this stage there was very little sign of oppositions.  
005660   0845 Bty moved North behind the tanks to a further position from which it could fire across the MEDJERDA RIVER. Having crossed an abandoned landing ground the tanks encountered some enemy gunfire, believed to be 88 mm and found an A.Tk screen on the ridge in front of them, just South of PROTVILLE  
      The Bty, engaged MET, infantry and a number of guns which were silenced.  
      A large explosions was seen at PROTVILLE and this was later found to be the bridge being blow.  
    1120 The tanks reached the high ground overlooking PROTVILLE and the Bty again moved up to a   

968742

 

 

 

 

 

1155

 

 

 

 

position close behind them. It was tucked well in under the hill and consequently avoided entirely some quite heavy 88 mm fire which was being fired at the tanks on the ridge in front. These 88mm were engaged by the Bty and all firing from them ceased, a large fire appearing in that area, Further guns were engaged by the Bty later, besides MET and infantry moving along the roads to the North,

 
      As the bridge had been blown and the river was uncrossable no further advance could be made. Owning to our rapid advance, the Bty and the tanks were twice bombed by our own planes, but once again there were no casualties.  
970843   1900 1 R.T.R Regtl Group formed close leaguer for the night in the same area.  

968742

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

0500

 

 

On breaking leaguer, the Bty returned to its former position and engaged MET and men on foot during the early morning. Then enemy was trying to make for PORTO FARINA as fast as he could and we had no opposition, even the air O.P which shot the Bty., not being shot at although over the target.  
    0810 Our forward troops are reported to have linked up with 2 U.S. Corps advancing West from BIZERTA, North of the river.  
    0850 Relived by 146 Fld Regt., R.A. and prepared to move back to Bde area with 1 R.T.R.  
9159   1400 Moved with 1 R.T.R. to Bde concentration area where Bty rejoined 5 R.H.A. in Regtl area.  
8957 10 1030 Moved slightly nearer TUNIS to a further Regtl concentration area.  
      Div. now non-operational, although 1 Regtl group is on duty daily, at 4 hrs notice to move.  
  10-11   Maintenance and rest and visits of parties to TUNIS.  
  11   L/Bdr Shaw admitted to hospital and returned on 14/5/43.  
  12 1400 Moved through DJEDEIDA - TEDOURBA - MEDJEZ-EL-BAB - TESTOUR towards new concentration area near BOU ARADA.  
      Leaguered 2 miles South of TESTOUR and heard on the wireless that all hostilities in N.AFRICA had ceased. Von Arnim and all the remaining Axis forces had surrendered.  
  13 0900 Reached new concentration area near BOU ARADA  
  14-17  

General maintenance, painting of guns and rest.

Further parties visited TUNIS.

 
  14   Gnr Brown. A.J. admitted to hospital  
  14   Gnr Tindell admitted to hospital and returned to Bty on 17/5/43.  
  18   Maj-Gen. G.W.E.J. ERSKINE, D.S.O., Cmdg 7th Armd Div inspected the personnel and guns of the Div Artillery in our Regtl area. All the guns 72, 25-pdrs, 64, 6-pdrs and 48 Bofors - collected in one area made a most impressive display.  
  19   Prepared for move to TRIPOLI area although due to move at 1030 hrs, the congestion was so bad on the roads that the Regt, decided at 1700 hrs not to move until early next morning.  
  20 0500 Commenced journey back to TRIPOLI and by 1200 hrs had caught up with unit in front at KAIROUAH  
    1800 Leaguered about 40 miles short of SFAX having covered aboy 140 miles, mostly over indifferent roads (Route PONT DI FAHS - KAIROUAH -leaguer area)  
  20   L/Sgt Stanier admitted to hospital  
  21 0600 Moved via EL AGAREB - MAHARES - coast road almost to GABES which was by-pasese - EL M'DOU - track through the hills and MARETH LINE to MEDENINE PLAIN where Regt., leaguered. Distance 150 miles  
  22 0600 Moved via METAMEUR - track by-passing MEDENINE - BAY BARDANE - ZUARA to leaguer 6 kilos short of SABRATHA. Distance 140 miles, the roads being very congested and much trouble caused by odd vehicles trying to pass the traffic blocks and causing bad jams.  
  22   Dvr.IC. Behan admitted to hospital.  
  23 0600 Moved via SABRATHA - ZAVIA - by passing TRIPOLI onto HOMS road to leager 23 kilos short of HOMS. Distance approx 130 miles, congestion and traffic blocks being caused by numerous diversions.  
  24 0600 Moved via HOMS to Regtl concentration area 15 miles further West. C.R.A. watched the Regt pass outside HOMS and was very pleased with the march discipline See Appendix 'A'
  25   Bty moved about mile to a move favourable positions in the sea shore.  
      Maintenance and rest.  
  26   Gnrs Murrell and Jenkins admitted to hospital  
  27   L/Bdr. Garrigle admitted to hospital.  
  26-29   Parties visited TRIPOLI.  
      Remainder carried out maintenance and rested.  
  28   A display of wrestling and dancing was given by members of the Sudan Defence Forces.  
      20 men went to leave camp TRIPOLI for 4 days.  
  29   Lt-Gen. B.G. Horrocks, D.S.O., M.C., Cmdg 10 Corps addressed officers, W.Os and Sgts at LEPTIS MAGNA ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE on the battle on North Africa from AKARIT until the end of hostilities there.  
  30   Sgt. Short admitted to hospital.  
      Dvr. Rogers and Bdr. Whieldon returned to Bty.  
      Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave. R.H.A. posted to 1st Army  
  31   Major W. R. Holman appointed 2 i/c to replace Major J. A. Norman, who had been promoted but also retained command of the Bty for the time.  
      Regtl & Bty training started in the form of N.C.Os cadre class and individual training.  
      Parties daily visited HOMS, where Lt. R.E. STONE. M.C. " CC" Battery R.H.A. in charge of Div. entertainments, had arranged cinema performances, concert parties and W.Os, Sgt and O.Rs clubs.  
  31   Bdrs. Elwine and Goldsmith admitted to hospital.  

 

APPENDIX 'A'

Extracts from 7th Armd Div letter No. 1/A of 24 May 43

"As the result of watching all the Div Arty as well as many other formations coming along the road the following points were very obvious.

(i)

 

The march discipline of the 7th Armd Div. Arty. though not really good enough for my liking was streets ahead of other formations.

(ii)

 

5. R.H.A in particular stood in a class by itself and it was obvious that a great deal of lecturing on the subject had been done with excellent results.

 

(Sgd) R. Mews. Brigadier CRA.

 

 

COPY OF CITATION FOR AWARD OF M.M TO No 987739 DR.IC SHIPPERLEY H.J. (M.M)

BETWEEN 14/1242 AND 22/1/43 THIS DRIVER HAS HAD HIS JEEP HIT ON 5 SEPARATE OCCASIONS BY SHELL FIRE. ON DEC 14 '42 AT SUERA, WHILE THE BTY WAS ADVANCING UNDER HEAVY ENEMY FIRE HIS JEEP WAS HIT AD THE SGT-MAJOR WOUNDED IN THE HEAD. HE ATTENDED TO THE B.S.M's WOUNDS AND THE BOUGHT HIS VEHICLE TO REJOIN THE TROOP

ON 15 DEC '42 AT AGHEILEA HE DROVE HIS VEHICLE INTO A MINEFIELD TO A TRUCK WHICH HAD BEEN BLOWN UP WHERE HE ASSISTED IN TENDING THE WOUNDED ALTHOUGH UNDER ENEMY SHELLFIRE THROUGHOUT. SHORTLY AFTERWARDS HIS JEEP WAS HIT AGAIN AND HIS SGT-MAJOR FATALLY WOUNDED. DR. SHIPPERLEY PROCURED A DOCTOR AND A VEHICLE IN WHICH HE HELPED EVACUATE HIS SGT-MAJOR AND OTHER WOUNDED. HE THE RETURNED AND RECOVERED HIS OWN VEHICLE WHICH WAS STILL UNDER FIRE.

ON 19 JAN '43 AT TARHUNA THE BTY CAME UNDER HEAVY AND ACCURATE FIRE FROM ENEMY ARTILLERY. HIS JEEP HAVING BECOME STUCK IN SOME VERY SOFT SAND. SHIPPERLEY WENT ON FOOT TO COLLECT TWO GUNS WHICH HAD BECOME SEPARATED FROM HIS TROOP AND DIRECTED THEM TO THE TROOP POSITION. HE THEN RETURNED TO HIS OWN VEHICLE AND MANAGED TO GET OUT OF THE SAND AND RETURNED TO HIS TROOP. THE WHOLE OPERATION WAS CARRIED OUT UNDER HEAVY ENEMY SHELLING THROUGHOUT.

THE DRIVERS COURAGE IMPERTURBABILITY AND DEVOTION TO DUTY ARE OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND HE IS A MAGNIFICENT EXAMPLE TO ALL IN IS BATTERY .

 

 

APPENDIX 'B'

"CC" Battery RHA Bag Rep:

 

2 MEs 109

Definitely destroyed
2 105mm    "               "
5   88mm    "               "
1   75mm SP    "               "
3   50mm    "               "
1   50mm found abandoned after our shelling
2   88mm
2   20mm
1   MK III Tank.
1   Halftrack

 

Abandoned or destroyed 40 plus MET.    

Captured 40 P.O.W. 10 plus  MET (some U.S.)

 

 

 

 

 

June 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. W. R. Holman R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
6525 1-19   Troop and individual training. Regimental and Battery N.C.Os Cadre Class.  
  5   Bty played K Bty RHA at soccer and won 3 - 1.  
  7 1100 Gen. Sir Bernard Montgomery KCB DSO Commanding 8th Army addressed Officers including those of 7th Armoured Division at Miramare Cinema in TRIPOLI.  
  8   Capt. W.R.L. Addison RHA awarded the immediate award of MILITARY CROSS for conspicuous bravery in the field. (See Appendix 'C')
  9 1000 Lt. Col R.R. Hoare DSO MC RHA visited the Battery.  
  10 1400 Concert given in the Regtl area by the D.C.L.I. Band.  
  11 1800 Bty played D Bty 3 RHA at soccer and lost 3-0.  
  12 0930 Maj. Gen. G.W.E.T. Erskine DSP Cmdg 7th Armd Div and Brig. R. Mews. DSO. CRA. 7th Armd Div visited the Battery.  
  14 1630 Gnr Frank was drowned while bathing in the sea to the North of the Battery area.  
  15   The body of Gnr Frank was washed ashore. He was buried on the cemetery at HOMS where the funeral service was taken by Capt. SYNNOTT. MC. (C of E Padre).  
  16 1415 A Regimental Athletic Sports meeting was held. The placing of the Batteries was - 1st K Bty RHA 2nd G Bty (Mercer's Trp) RHA 3rd CC Bty RHA.  
  20 0635 Battery moved out for Inspection by H.M. the King, moving as part of Divisional column.  
  21   The morning was spent in preparations for the Inspections.  
    1630 H.M. King George VI inspected units of 7th Armoured Divisiion including the 5th Regt RHA. CC Bty was represented by 7 Officers and 117 O.Rs.  
    1730 Bty moved off for return to camp. The column moved through the night with a halt for two hours from 2130 to 2330 hrs.  
  22 0400 Battery arrived back in Camp.  
  23-26   Troop and Individual Training.  
  23   Major. F.B. Wyldbore-Smith RHA assumed command of the Bty.  

Commanding Officer: Major. Wyldbore-Smith R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
  25 0900 Regimental Troop Gun Drill competition took place, results as follows: C Tp equal for first place. H Tp fourth.  
  26-30   Troop training completed and Battery training started.  
      Throughput the month leave parties were despatched to spend four days at the Rest Camp in TRIPOLI and parties were sent in each week end.  
      Attached Appendices A and B is a list of admissions and discharges from hospital, also postings to and from the Bty during the month.  

 

 

APPENDIX 'A' TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY

FOR MONTH OF JUNE 1943


  HOSPITAL - ADMISSIONS AND DISCHARGES.
 

Name.

Admitted.

Discharged.

Gnr. Chidlow. J. 2 June.
A/W.O.II Short. J. MM. 5 June.
W/W.O.II Maddision J. MM. 3 June
Gnr. Murrell. W. 9 June.
L/Bdr Garrigle. M 13 June
Gnr. Jenkins. E. 14 June.
Gnr Souter. L. 16 June
L/Bdr. Shaw. J. 2 June 29 June
A/W.O.II. Dixion G 20 June
W/Bdr. Goldsmith. A 20 June
L/Bdr. Burrows. L. 22 June 27 June
Gnr. West .E.T. 30 June

 

 

 

APPENDIX 'B' TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY

FOR MONTH OF JUNE 1943


  POSTINGS TO AND FROM THE BATTERY.
 
Gnr. Wright.GJ. Posted to 557 A.O.D. w.e.f. 21 June 43.
Gnr. Raine. R. Posted to Battery from HQ 10 Corps w.e.f 22 June 43.
 
Major. F.B. Wyldbore-Smith RHA Posted to Bty from HQ 10 Corps w.e.f 22 June 43.

 

 

 

APPENDIX 'C' 

COPY OF CITATION OF AWARD OF M.C. TO CAPT. W.R.L ADDISON RHA.


 

On 27 March 43, 1st Rifle Bde assaulted and capture the DJEBEL SAIKRA Feature against strong enemy opposition. The F.O.O. accompanying the attack, Lt. W R L Addison RHA went up the feature behind the assault troops so that he could at once neutralise any enemy counter-attack and help consolidate an extremely precarious position.

With  great skill and judgement he negotiated his 8-cwt truck through minefields and ran a wire under heavy mortar and artillery fire and while still under fire climbed to the summit, a height of nearly 500 feet. the weight of wire was to much for him to drag, and he immediately organised a chain of men from the Company he was supporting to pass orders while he engaged and drove back the enemy along the ridge.

Later he got help and extended the line to the summit.

His coolness and gallantry under very heavy fire, and his good organisation undoubtly forestalled the enemy counter-attack and save a critical situation. I very strongly recommend this officer for an immediate award.

 

 

July 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 1   Training and Layers test.  
  6 0900 Driver Operators Classification.  
  8 1400 Battery moved out for course shooting on range returning 9th July.  
  11   Corps Commander - Lt-Gen. B.G. Horrocks, D.S.O., M.C., lectured Officers at LEPTIS MAGNA  - operation HUSKY  
  15 1400 Battery moved out for course shooting and A.Tank shoot - returning 16 July.  
  17   Gnr. Morton posted to Royal Scots Greys.  
  21   Bdr. Kent rejoined Battery as Battery Clerk.  
      Battery night laying exercise  
  23   Battery course shooting.  
      Gnr. Wood posted to 113 Field Regt R.A.  
  24   Boxing competition C.R.A. Group versus 131 Bde.  
      L/Bdrs Lapidus and Nott both boxed for C.R.A. group and won their bouts.  
  27   Maj.General G.W.E.J. Erskine 7 Armoured Division lectured to Officers - W.Os and Sgts at LEPTIS MAGNA subject campaign in SICILY.  
  28   Major F.B. Wyldbore-Smith RHA assumed command of 5 R.H.A. during absence of C.O.  
  29 1430 Battery moved out to shoot on ranges.  
  30 1030 Div RA.HAB demonstration by 5 R.H.A.  
      Bdr. Young, Gnrs Smith, Ungless, Boulter and Thornton rejoined Battery from 155 Transit Camp.  
      Gnr. Boyd posted to CC Battery.  
  31   Lt. W.H.H. Allon returned to Battery from course in Delta.  

 

APPENDIX "A" TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF JULY 43.

 

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND DISCHARGES.
 
Pte. Hudson. (ACC) Admitted 2 July Discharged 12 July
Dvr. Collins. Admitted 5 July Discharged 13 July
Bdr. Young Admitted 6 July Discharged 30 July
Gnr. House. Admitted 7 July
Gnr. Nippard. Admitted 10 July Discharged 13 July
Gnr. Childlow. Admitted 28 July Discharged 31 July
BSM. Dixon. Discharged 15 July

 

 

APPENDIX "B" TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF JULY 43.

 

POSTINGS TO AND FROM THE BATTERY.
    
Dvr. Gray. Posted to the Battery from R.A.B.D. on 9 July 43
Gnr. Thomas. T. Posted to the Battery from R.A.B.D. on 9 July 43
Gnr. Thompson. G.    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    "
Gnr. Carter. E    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    "
L/Bdr Venables. L. Posted to the Battery from R.A.B.D. on 9 July 43
Bdr. Mainstone. H    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    "
L/Sgt. Murray. W.    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    "
Gnr (DO) Thornton. W. Posted to the Battery from 155 Transit Camp on 30 July 43.
Gnr. Boulter. L.    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    on 30 July 43.
Dvr. Smith. J.N.    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    on 30 July 43.
Gnr. Ungless. J.    "     "     "     "    "     "     "     "     "     "     "    on 30 July 43.
Gnr. Boyd. Posted to the Battery from 155 Transit Camp.

 

 

 

August 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 2   All Officers attended beach organisation lecture at LEPTIS MAGNA  
  3   Officers attended TEWT with 22 ARMD BDE on a Beach Landing exercise.  
  3-10   Serial numbers painted on vehicles and exercises in beach landing carried out.  
  5   Course shooting on ranges.  
      Capt. A. PITT. R.H.A. posted to B.D.R.A. Lt W. H. Allon took over commanded "C" TROOP and Lt. R. Whitely posted to Bty H.Q.  
  6   Bty returned from 105 S.P. Course at ALMAZA.  
      2/Lt. A.B. Curtis joined Bty (H) TROOP from BDRA.  
  9   Guns calibrated on range.  
  16   DRYSHOD EXERCIS TORTOISE carried out in HOMS area.  
  17   Gnrs. Bates & Mason rejoined the Battery.  
  22   General model exercise for all officers at H.Q. 7. ARMD DIV.  
  28   Gnr Wright posted to CC Bty.  
  31   Battery moved out to ranges.  

 

APPENDIX "A" TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF AUG.

 

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND DISCHARGES.

 
Gnr. Jackson Admitted 3.8.43 Discharged 30.8.43
Gnr.. Shipperley MM         "      5.8.43        "          30.8.43
D/M. Hagger         "      5.8.43        "          16.8.43
Bdr. Elwone.         "      10.8.43        "          29.8.43
L/Bdr. Cooper.         "      30.8.43
     
Dvr Giddins. Discharged 5.8.43
L/Sgt. Stanier Discharged 6.8.43

 

 

APPENDIX "B" TO "CC" BATTERY R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF AUG.

 

POSTINGS TO AND FROM THE BATTERY.

    
Aug 5. Capt. Pitt posted to the Battery from Gunnery School BDRA
       5. Dvr Giddins reposted from 155 Transit Camp
       6. L/Sgt Stanier, Bdr Elwine, Gnr Smith GW reposted to Battery from R.A.B.D.
       6. 2/Lt A.B. Curtis posted to Battery from R.A.B.D.
       17. Gnrs Bates & Mason posted to the Battery from R.A.B.D.
       28. Gnr Wright G reposted to Battery from 500 A.O.D.
       31. Gns Burrows posted to 155 TRANSIT Camp prior to embarking for U.K.

 

 

September 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 1   Gnr Burrows left Bty on posting to U.K. after 5 years service abroad APPENDIX "C"
  3 - 7   Preparations for fair started.  
  6th   Gnr House returned to Battery.  
  8th   FAIR held in Bty area, about 4000 attended from 7 Armd. Div. 50 donated to Div Comdr 7 Armd Div fund, remainder of profits divided between RHQ, "K" & "CC" Bty.  
  12   Bdr. Stanier posted to 'G' Battery.  
      Lt. Whitley admitted to hospital APPENDIX "B"
  13 0815 Bty Drill Order returning at 1430 hrs.  
  15   Preparations carried out for move to Assemble area prior to embarkation.  
  16 0600 Bty moved to assemble area one mile SOUTH of TRIPOLI arriving 1230 hrs. APPENDIX "A"
  17 1515 Bty split into 5 serials. First three serials moved 1 R.T.R. to Dock Area.  
  18 1900 First 3 serials loaded on L.S.Ts. Fourth Bty serial moved to Dock Area.  
  19 0700 First 3 serials sailed for SALERNO  ITALY.  
  20 1630 Fourth serial sailed for SALERNO  ITALY.  
  21 0100 First 3 serials passed through Straits of Messina.  
    1900 L.S.Ts beached and Bty less some of "A" and "C" echelon concentrated in Regtl. area SOUTH of BATIPAGLIA.  
  22   Bty prepared for action.  
    1400 Orders received to be ready to move first light on 23rd to join 1 R.T.R. Regtl. group.  
    1500 Fourth serial landed and joined Bty.  
  23 0930 Bty moved to 1 R.T.R. area  
    1400 Recce parties ordered forward. Bty left 1 R.T.R. to come into action.  
    1800 Recce parties returned and Bty leaguered in Area 760260.  
    2200 Orders received to provide O.P. & G.P.O to fire 7.2" guns which had arrived without communications.  
  24 0530 B.C. & 'H' Trp O.P. reported to CRA 46 Div and received orders to establish O.P. for 7.2" on TELEGRAFO. 627334  
    1000 O.P. occupied on foot and one shoot carried out. B.C. O.P. & G.P.O returned last light.  
  25-27   Bty remained in present area. Heavy rain on 27th. Bty on one hrs notice to move on 27th.  
  28 0600 Bty at immediate notice to move.  
    0930 Bty moved off with 1 R.T.R. Regtl group. Route:- SALERNO - NOCERA. Staged night on roadside 4 miles NORTH OF SALERNO.  
  29 0430 Moved again slowly though NOCER and staged night 2 miles WEST of NOCERA on POMPEI rd 423395.  
  30 1400 Bty moved on again with 1 R.T.R. for 1 mile then halted.  
    1500 Recce parties ordered forward.  
    1700 Bty moved into action in Regtl. area at 423398. Bty were in support to 56 DIV and send O.P. to them first light on 1st October  
    2000 D.F. tasks arrived.  

 

APPENDIX "A"

"CC" BATTERY 5th REGIMENT MOVEMENT ORDER No.1

To:-
O.C
    Bty H.Q.
    'C' Trp.
    'H' Trp.
    Bty Capt.

 

1. At 1900 hrs 15 Sept 43., the Battery will form up by Troops facing South close interval, two lines
'C' Tp. Right. )
'H' Tp. Left. ) head of Troops level with
'HQ'    Centre. ) site of troop recreation tents. 
2. Battery will move off at 0930 hrs 16th Sept 43.
Order of march:-

Bty HQ - 'C' Tp - 'H' tp.

Fitter's truck followed by Officer detailed by 'C' Troop will bring up rear.
Speed:-     m.i.h. 30
Density:-    v.t.m  40
One D.R. from 'C' trp and Bty HQ will ride behind X truck.
3. Halts: -      1200---- 12.30.hrs.
4. Route:-      L.A.D. - HOMS - TRIPOLI - CASTEL BENITO - HOMS ZUARA cross roads.
5. The area will be left scrupulously clean.
The area will be inspected at 0800 hrs 16th Sept 43.

 

Signed.      XXXXXXXXXXXXX

           Major R.H.A
Commanding 'CC' Battery R.H.A

 

 

APPENDIX "B" TO "CC" BATTERY 5th REGIMENT R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 1943.

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND DISCHARGES.

Admitted. Discharged. Name.
17 Sept 43 L/Bdr. Cooper
2 Sept 43. Gnr Howard. J.W.
10 Sept 43. 18 Sept 43. Dvr. Groombridge. G.
11 Sept 43. 18 Sept 43. Lt. R. Whitley.
17 Sept. 43. Bdr Mainstone. H.
17 Sept. 43.   D.M Hagger. S.
21 Sept. 43. Gnr. Rutherford. P.
29 Sept. 43. Gnr. Wigmore. J.W
 6 Sept. 43. Gnr. Goodrick. R.H.

 

 

APPENDIX "C" TO "CC" BATTERY 5th REGIMENT R.H.A. WAR DIARY FOR MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 1943.

 

Postings to and from the Battery.

    
Gnr. Burrows posted to 155 Transit Camp prior to embarking for U.K.
Gnr House reposted to Battery from 155 Transit Camp.

 

 

Brochure for the Fair organised by 5 RHA near Homs, on 8th September 1943. Click for larger image.

 

October 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 1 0600 B.C. & "C" Trp Commander left Battery to report to 56 Div with a view to establishing an O.P.  
    0920 Battery received orders to rejoin 1 R.T.R. B.Cs party ordered to return.  
    1700 Bty rejoined  1 R.T.R. Regtl. Group column and spent night at TERLIGNO N4145  
  2 0500 Bty moved forward with 1 R.T.R. after reveille at 0400 hrs.  
    0630 "H" O.P. established at MARIGILANO N3858  
    0645 Bty in action at N374540.  
    0800 "C" Trp engaged infantry positions and suspected A/Tank guns.  
    1045 Bty moved forward.  
    1400 "C" Trp in action at N278568. "H" Trp & Bty on wheels at N273574.  
    1500 "H" O.P. engaged enemy S.P. gun which was at a range of not more that 300x from the O.P.  
    1730 "C" Trp remained in action. "H" Trp and Bty H.Q. leaguered with 1 R.T.R.  in AFRAGOLA N266585.  
  3 0600 "H" Trp & BTY H.Q. moved back and formed a battery position with "C" Trp at their last position. Bty linked with "G" Bty.  
      A3 hit by shell splinters during this move. Dvr Ashman & Pte Hudson wounded and evacuated.  
    0630 "C" O.P. with A Sqdn 1 R.T.R. "H" O.P. (Lt. R. Whitley) with 1 R.B.  
    1430 Bty fired a quick barrage in support of attacked by 1 R.B.  
    1510 Area of barraged reported clear and mopping up operations carried out.  
    1800 "C" O.P. spent night with A Sqdn at N259583. "H" O.P. spent the night with 1 R.B. CARDITO N2450.  
      Battery fired Stonks and murders throughout the day in support of 1 R.T.R. and 1 R.B.  
  4 0730 Bty ordered forward & came into Bty position at ATELLA di NAPOLI N216621.  
    1100 "H" O.P. established in AVERSA 1763. B.C and "C" O.P. with 1 R.T.R.  
    1400 Bty took over 2 Fiat 3 tonners and 1 FIAT runabout from Italian army.  
      A dismounted party from "C" Troop under the G.P.O. engaged 2 German soldiers with rifle and bren gun fire in FRATTAMINORE N2261  
    1900 Bty fired tasks in support of an attacked by 131 (Queens) Bde in area N1969.  
      Bty fired murders during the day.  
  5 0600 Recce parties ordered forward.  
    0730 "C" Trp in action at FERTILIA N172671. "C" Trp engaged targets.  
    1000 "H" Trp in action at N188678.  
    1030 "C" Trp stepped up to Bty position. B.C. & O.Ps with 1 R.T.R.  "C" O.P. established at N149761 during the afternoon.  
    1400 Recce parties moved forward.  
    1515 "C" Trp in action at N183713.  
    1545 "H" Trp stepped up to Bty position. Many Battery and Regtl. targets engaged throughout the day.  
  6 0500 "BC & O.Ps still with 1 R.T.R.  
    0830 Bty engaged targets included 88mm.  
    1400 Recce parties moved forward.  
    1500 "C" Trp had 3 rounds on Troop positions, no casualties.  
    1730 Recce parties returned.  
    1830 B.C. and O.Ps returned. 1 R.T.R. relived by 5 R.T.R.  
  7 2200 B.C & "H" Trp Cmdr involved in Jeep smash, both taken to A.D.S, B.C. returned during the night, & "H" Trp Cmdr evacuated to 12 C.C.S. at AVERSA. Lt. R.E. Stone MC RHA assured command of "H" Troop.  
  8 0830 Recce party moved to ALBANOVA N1167.  
    1200 Bty moved to concentration area ALBANOVA.  
  10 1700 Bty moved to gun area N116728, essential trucks only being taken, remaining trucks in leaguer at ALBANOVA.  
  11 2025 Bty fired a quick barrage and concentrations in support of 56 Div right, 131 (Queens) Bde centre and 46 Div left.  
  12 0500 B.C. & "C" O.P. went forward to GRAZZANISE N0876 in support of 131 (Queens) Bde.  
    0800 Fired D.Fs in support of 56 Div.  
  13-16   Bty in action in same area fired murders and D.Fs.  
  17 1230 Recce parties sent forward to recce area N1475.  
    1400 Recce parties returned.  
  18   Bty moved to leaguer area N1475. Recce parties went forward and crossed the river VOLTURNO to recce position N.W. of Capua.  
  19 0615 Bty moved forward, crossed the river VOLTURNO at GRAZZANISE and came into action at N154784.  
  20 1200 Recce party moved forward  
    1600 bty moved to new position N108828.  
  21 1300 Local O.P. established at N102827.  
    1600 B.C. & O.Ps joined 1 R.B.  
  22 0440 Bty fired deception tasks in support of 56 Div.  
    0700 Air O.P. landed near our positions and later shot "H" Trp on registration and infantry positions,  
      Both O.Ps out and B.C. with 1.R.B.  
      "C" Trp engage enemy gun position.  
    1100 "C" Trp O.P. shelled and L/Bdr Venables (OPA) wounded & evacuated. Local O.P. established at N102827.  
      Many murders fired throughout the day.  
    2135 Fired harassing fire tasks.  
  23 0445 Several rounds probably 88mm fell in the Battery area, most of these were duds, no casualties.  
    1330 B.C. wounded in arm by shell - splinter whilst visiting "C" O.P. at SPARANISE N081875. B.C. evacuated to AVERSA  
    1330 Capt. G. R. A. Wixley R.H.A. assumed command of the Battery.  

October 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. G. R. A. Wixley R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 23 1630 Corps Commander 10 Corps visited the 1 R.B. H.Q.  
      "H" O.P. at N089874  
  24 0300 Fired on D.F. tasks in support of 1 R.B and 5 R.T.R. D.F. reported successful.  
    1100 "H" O.P. (Lt R. Whitley) moved with I Coy 1 R.B., and established O.P. at N072879.  
    1200 "C" O.P. (Lt V. M. Hill) moved from N089847 to join "C" Copy 1 R.Bs who were advancing to FRANCOLISE. N0486.  
    1230 B.C. reconnoitred O.P at N053868.  
    1330 "C" O.P. established at N053868.  
    1430 "C" O.P. accompanied patrol of "C" Coy 1 R.B. into FRANCOLISE. N0486. Murders fired during the day.  
    1500 Battery at hours notice to move.  
  25 0530 Recce parties moved forward.  
    0600 "C" O.P. at N053868.  
    0700 Battery moved to a new position at N079858. South of SPARANISE.  
    1330 "H" O.P. at N072878.  
  26 0530 Recce parties moved.  
    0615 B.C. and "C" O.P. moved with 1st R.B.  
    1200 B.C. and "C" Trp Cmdr reconnoitred area M925747 with 1 R.B.  
    1400 "K" Bty relieved "CC" Bty in support of 1 R.B. "CC" Bty placed in support of 1 R.T.R. Bty in action at M042749.  
    1430 B.C. joined RHQ 1 R.T.R. at M989794.   
    1700 "C" O.P. joined C Sqdn 1 R.T.R. at M025770.  
  27 0600 ""C" O.P. established at M989794.  C" Trp engaged suspected enemy positions during the day.  
  28 0600 "C" Trp O.P. again at M989794.  
    1200 Corps Commander 10 Corps visited 1 R.T.R. H.Q.  
    1400 Recce parties moved forward.  
    1530 Battery moved forward and crossed VOLTURNO remaining on wheels for the night.  
  29 0530 Battery in action at M940718. "C" O.P. at M938755.  
    1300 Air O.P. registered 5 targets in area of MONDRAGONE M9078.  
    1400 "C" O.P. registered targets with sniping gun of "H" Trp (in action 1000x South of Battery position).  
    1700 "C" O.P. joined A Sqdn 1st R.T.R. at M936730.  
    1730 "H" O.P. (Lt V.M. Hill) joined B.C. with 1st R.T.R at M995738.  
  30 0500 B.C. and "H" O.P. moved with 1st R.T.R. to M928741.  
    0600 "C" O.P. moved with A Sqdn to M922753.  
    0800 B.C. moved with R.H.Q. 1st R.T.R to M918758.  
    0830 "H" O.P. at M915763. "C" O.P. with B Sqdn.  
    0830 Battery engaged Battery targets and fired murders throughout the day in support of 1st R.T.R. using many of the targets registered the previous day by the air O.P. Over 2000 rounds were fired by 5 R.H.A. during the day, mainly in support of 1st R.T.R.  
  31 0530 "H" O.P. at M915763. B.C. at M922765.  
    0800 "H" O.P. joined B Sqdn at M924768.  
    1000 B.C. and "H" O.P. moved with 1st R.T.R. into MONDRAGONE. M921791.  
      Murders fired throughout the morning in support of 1st R.T.R.  
    1600 Battery came out of action and remained on wheels in the old area.  
      Message received from Divisional Commander thanking the Regiment for the good work it had dine during the last 2 days.  

 

 

November 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. G. R. A. Wixley R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 1 0600 Battery moved forward to Battery position at M914782 South of MONDRAGONE.  
    1130 B.C. and 2 O.Ps moved with R.H.Q. 1 R.T.R to M901806 and remained on observation.  
    1345 Concentrations on area Pt. 273 M881831 fired in support of 1/5 Queens.  
   

1430-

1600

Fired murders in support of 1/5 Queens.

 

 
    2200 Fired on D.Fs ordered by 131 (Queens) Brigade.  
  2 0830 "C" O.P. joined "B" Sdn at M879821. B.C. moved with R.H.Q to M879821.  
    0930 "H" O.P. (Lt R. Whitley RHA) joined B.C.  
    1030 "C" O.P. established at M884835.  
    1130 "C" O.P. engaged vehicles and men un area M894859.  
    1330 Murders fired on gun positions in area of MINTURNI M7995.  
    1530 B.C. and "H" O.P. moved with R.H.Q to M888847.  
    1645 "H" O.P. established at M902853.  
    1700 B.C. Moved with R.H.Q to M908863.  
  3 0515- 0900 "C" O.P. moved with "A" Sqn to SORBELLO M9389. B.C. moved with R.H.Q to CARANO M9289.  
    1000 "H" O.P. established at M928902.  
  4 0830 Battery relieved in support of 1 R.T.R by Battery of 24th Field Regt R.A. B.C. and Ops returned to Battery position at M914782.  
  5 1115 All Officers attended at conference at R.H.Q. 5th Regt R.H.A. at which they were informed that 7th Armoured Division was to be relieved and that the Division was returning to the U.K. in the near future.  
  6 1000 Lt. W.S. Barrow RHA attached to 24th Field Regt R.A.for instruction.  
      First vehicles handed over to 17 RCA Regt.  
  7 1420 Battery moved to leaguer area North of VILLA LITERNO in M0668.  
  8 0800 First party left for day leave in NAPLES.  
    1200 4 enemy planes attacked the Battery area with bombs and cannon fire.  
      Dvr Grimble slightly wounded but not evacuated.  
  9 0800 Recce part left to recce new Regimental area at PIANO Di SORRENTO N3525.  
  10 1215 Holding party moved to new area.  
  11 1515 Officers from 17 RCA Regt visited the Battery area.  
    1830 Lt. W.S. Barrow RHA returned to the Battery.  
  12 0900 B.C. and Troop Commanders visited 17 RCA Regt in AFRAGOLA and described the Battle of CARDITO of 3 Oct 43.  
  13 1115 All Officers and N.C.Os attended a lecture at R.H.Q. by Major General ERSKINE DSO MC. Cmdg 7th Armoured Div.  
      Information received that Major F.B. Wyldbore-Smith had been awarded the MBE.  
  14 1130 Battery area again attacked by enemy planes.  
  15 0930 60% of Battery left for the new area  
  16   All the equipment of the Battery, with the exception of a few trucks, was handed over to 17 RCA Regt.  
      Major F.B. Wyldbore-Smith M.B.E  R.H.A arrived back from hospital after flying from North Africa and assumed command of the Battery  

November 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith M.B.E. R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 17 0730 Remainder of Battery moved to new area, B.Q.M.S Rogers remained behind on old area in order to go to the U.K. as part of Regtl Advance Party.  
  18   Officers attended a lecture by 10 Corps Commander at AVERSA  
  19   The third anniversary of the Battery was celebrated by a Battery dinner in SORRENTO followed by a cinema show.  
  20-22   Training.  
  23   Brig. W. HINDE. D.S.O. acting Commander 7th Armoured Division inspected the billets.  
  24   Training.  
  25   Lt. P. Wickham R.H.A visited "PRIESTS" in ordnance park near Naples  
  26-30   Training continued.  

 

Appendix "A" to "CC" Battery 5th Regt R.H.A. 

War Diary for  Month of November 1943.

 

Hospital Admissions and Discharges.

Name. Admitted Discharged.
Gnr. Wilson. A.W. 1 Nov 43.      -
Gnr. Wright. G 3 Nov 43.  7 Nov 43.
Gun/Fit. Bolton F.A. 4 Nov 43.      -
Gnr. Carter. E 15 Nov 43. 23 Nov 43.
Gnr. Findlay. W 19 Nov 43.      -
Dvr. Woodall. J 28 Nov 43.      -
D.M Haggar. S 18 Nov 43.
Dvr. Ashman. C 7 Nov 43.
Dvr. Rosier. H.W. 11 Nov 43.
Sgt. Brodie. W.J 23 Nov 43.
Gnr (DO) Bates. A.E. 16 Nov 43.
Gnr (DO) Mason. F. 16 Nov 43.
Major F.B. Wyldbore-Smith M.B.E  R.H.A 16 Nov 43.

 

 

Appendix "B" to "CC" Battery 5th Regt R.H.A. 

War Diary for  Month of November 1943.

 

Postings to and from the Battery..

Name. Date Place Posted.
Gnr. Findlay. W 1 Nov 43. Posted to the Bty from 159 Transit Camp.
Lt. V.M. Hill R.H.A 1 Nov 43. Posted to RHQ.
Lt. T.R.D. Belgrave R.H.A 1 Nov 43. Posted to the Bty.
Gnr. Perkins. J 9 Nove 43. Posted to 70th Field Regt R.A.

 

 

 

December 1943

Commanding Officer: Major. F. B. Wyldbore-Smith M.B.E. R.H.A.

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information References to Appendices
Field 2 0830 40 men left for 1 day visit to POMPEI.  
    0900 R.E. Sgt lectured the junior NCOs on mines.  
    1130 Bty Capt left to visit 17 R.C.A. Regt (Eighth Army).  
  3 1000 30 men from Bty attended lecture by an American Press representative in the Cinema MODERNO SORRENTO.  
  5 0630 40 men left for 3 days leave on Capri.  
  6 2000 30 men under Lt. A.B. Curtis RHA left as part of an Operation Working Party. The task of this party was to carry rations forward troops of 10 Corps.  
  7 1900 Bty Capt returns from 17 RCA Regt.  
  8 0830 Junior NCOs left for 1 day visit to POMPEI.  
  10 1115 Maj. W.R. Holman. MC RHA. 2 i/c 5 RHA lectured to the Bty on Steeplechasing.  
  11 1800 Operation working party returns.  
  12 0800 Advance party left for CASORIA STAGING CAMP. N2558.  
  13 1000 Lt Keaves 1/5 Queens lecture to the Bty on "Parachutists".  
  14 1100 Inter-Troop Rifle and Marching Drill competition.  
      Competition won by "H" Troop.  
  15 0845 B.C. gave details to the Bty of the move to England.  
  16 1000 "C" Trp left for CASORIA  
      B.C. awarded immediate award of D.S.O.  
  17 1000 Bty HQ left for CASORIA  
  18 1030 B.C. and advance party left for the ship.  
    1330 "H" Troop left for CASTELLAMARE.  
  19 1130 "H" Troop arrives at CASORIA  
  20 0230 Reveille.  
    0345 Bty moved off to march to NAPLES.  
    0615 Bty arrived NAPLES. Breakfast in the street.  
    0830 Bty moved on board SS ORMONDE.  
    0900 L/Bdr Venables rejoined the Bty on the ship having returned from hospital.  
  20-31    On board S.S. ORMONDE. Boat Drill, cinema shows and concerts.  

 

Appendix "A" to "CC" Battery 5th Regt R.H.A. 

War Diary for  MONTH OF December 1943.

 

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND DISCHARGES.

Name. Admitted Discharged.
Bdr. Swinhoe   2 Dec 43
Dvr Woodall 13 Dec 43
W.O.11 BSM Dixon 15 Dec 43
L/Bdr Mitchell J. 15 Dec 43
L/Bdr Venables. H 20 Dec 43.

 

 

 

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